Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Review: The All Bengali Crime Detectives- II, The Mysterious Death of Probhat Sanyal by Suparna Chatterjee.




Book: The All Bengali Crime Detectives- II, The Mysterious Death of Probhat Sanyal

Author: Suparna Chatterjee.

Pages: 256

Read On: Paperback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days

Plot Summary: A ghost that was ostensibly spotted in eerie Makaibari—one of the oldest tea gardens in Darjeeling—finds its way to modern-day Calcutta, to the home of Probhat Sanyal, the erstwhile manager of the tea estate. ‘The ghost has returned!’ exclaims a horrified Sanyal, whose sudden death raises questions. Was the phantom-sighting merely a figment of his imagination? Or was it connected to solid facts? In The All Bengali Crime Detectives-II, an eclectic mix of four retired Bengali men return to solve this new mystery, and recreate what might have happened one night in Makaibari, so many years ago.

Even as our crime detectives forage for clues, a colourful array of characters demand attention—from Poltu, the roadside Romeo, who works on his romantic advances; to the local lass, Piya, whose parents are convinced they have found her the perfect groom! To complicate matters, the rivalry between Milonee and Sabuj Kalyan clubs intensifies, making things uptight and personal between the two.
With so many diversions, will our four intrepid investigators piece together Sanyal’s secret life?
General Thoughts: I read the first instalment of this series in January of 2014. It was in fact my first read of 2014 and I just fell in love with this book and it's people and of course the detecting.  You can read it's REVIEW HERE. 

I couldn't wait for the next book in the series, in fact, I was hoping this would be a series! :) Finally, last year I got a message from the author telling me of the release of this book.  I was so kicked and meant to read this book as my first read of 2016. But December was crazy busy and I just didn't get around to ordering this book. But I ordered it in January and I read it on the very day it arrived. I was soooooooo freaking happy to be back in this world and re-visit the people in this fictional world. :)

Things I Liked: 

1. My favourite aspect of this book were it's characters. The members of the ABCD group and their families. But most of all I love this elderly gentlemen! They are so life-like and really read like blood and bone people. They remind me of my dad and his motley group of friends and it just warms the cockles of my heart. It was so good to meet them again and see what they were upto.

2. The setting of this book--Calcutta-- holds a special place in my heart. It's a place of childhood memories and of course Calcutta is wonderful all on her own. Old world charm and a lot of heart and kindness and intellect reside in this old city. Any book set there is something I am most likely to enjoy.

3. The Bengaliaana is this book is outstanding and so damn accurate! The fear of cold and layering on woollens like there is no tomorrow is shown so well in this book. I was nodding along and laughing out loud on multiple occasions. So much of the Bengali way of life is captured within these pages and will resonate with any Bengali.

4. The case and the hint of a ghost was also spectacular.

5. There were some ghost stories (unrelated to the case) that just made to so happy. I love me some ghost stories.

6. Parts of this book were set in Makaibari, a place very close to my hometown and where my family Tea Garden is situated and a place I love a lot, so it was great to read about it.

7. The book is set in Calcutta winter and it made the winter season leap out of the pages and come alive. Lep (quilts) and gorom cha (hot tea) and monkey caps and sweaters and cold mornings all convey the sometimes severe Calcutta winter.

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. You must read the first book in the series to read this book. Or you'll be very lost.

2.  The case itself wasn't the most complex. It's easy-ish to guess the culprit. But seriously, in this book the case is almost inconsequential to liking the book.

3. At some time I felt like this book was more a general fiction book and not even a mystery thriller read. There was very little of the case and investigation in the book, which was a little disappointing.

4. There was so much of the para (locality) club and it's people, the youth of the locality in this book. They were there in the first book as well but they are overbearingly there in this book and I honestly didn't like these bits. I don't see why so much of the narrative was devoted to them?

Rating: 4.5/5

I immensely enjoyed this book and I loved the time I spent reading this book and even though the case and the investigation aren't the very best bits in this book, it honestly didn't take away from the charm and simple elegance of this book. I highly, highly recommend this book. It was a delight :)


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